Common name: Oleander
Nerium is a tender evergreen flowering shrub that if allowed, can grow to around six metres high (20ft).
This attribute makes it a suitable plant to be used as a boundary hedge or windbreak.
All parts of the plant are poisonous to humans.
If burning trimmings and or prunings, avoid inhaling the smoke as this can also be quite toxic.
Wash your hands after handling any part of this plant!
The shrubs will survive outdoors in the extreme south-west of the UK. elsewhere, they will normally need greenhouse conditions.
Clusters of single white flowers appear from June to October, although there are some single and double forms with white, cream, pink and red flowers available.
Nerium flower cluster
Water freely during the growing period and keep the plants just moist in winter when a minimum temperature of 7°C (45°F) is required.
Pot plants may be stood outdoors during summer.
In the greenhouse, place plants in full light and ventilate freely at all times except in frosty weather.
To maintain the shape of the plant/s, shorten flowering shoots by half after flowering, at the same time cut back lateral shoots to within 100mm (4”) of their base.
Keep an eye open for pests and diseases.
Mealy bugs can become a problem if allowed to manifest themselves.
The signs are; the plant leaves become covered with a sooty sticky substance and there are conspicuous tufts of white waxy wool on the leaves and stems.
Scale Insects can form rounded white or brown scales under the leaves, and make the plants sticky and sooty.
Discoloration of the foliage and leaf-fall can be a sign of a physiological disorder.
Plant out in the greenhouse border or in small tubs or in 250-300mm (10”-12”) pots potting compost (equivalent to JI No. 2.)
For established plants, re-pot them on annually, or subject to the size of plant and plot do this every other year.
Sow seeds in pots or pans of seed compost, and germinate under glass at a temperature of 18°-21°C (65°-70°F).
Prick off the seedlings, when large enough to handle, into 75mm (3”) pots of potting compost (equiv JI No. 1) then treat as described for cuttings.
Commence giving established plants a weak liquid feed at fortnightly intervals from now and until September.
Plants to be grown outdoors can be planted against a sheltered sunny wall in ordinary garden soil.
Take 75-100mm (3”-4”) cuttings of half-ripened shoots and insert in equal parts (by volume) peat and sand in a propagating frame at a temperature of 16°-18°C (60°-65°F).
Pot the rooted cuttings in 3 in. containers of potting compost (equiv JI No. 1) and grow on in a greenhouse at a temperature of 13°-16°C (55°-60°F).
Pot on successively as required, and finish off in 250-300mm (10”-12”) pots.
Harden off outdoor plants in a cold frame before planting out the following year.